SIMPSON BAY—Jogfather is not a misprint, but a play on words from the Oscar-winning 1970s series of Godfather movies about mafia crime families, and inspiration for the name of this team participating in the 33rd around-the-island relay race on November 11.
Jogfathers 2-- they raced for the first-time last year--may not have Robert de Niro or Al Pacino in their ensemble cast, but no doubt they will be turning in a menacing performance on the day. Their diverse line-up includes a Parliamentarian and a Government Minister in the team no less, as well as health professionals and business owners.
To get that kind of high-profile support, someone will surely have uttered that immortal line: “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
“We’re a group of friends who came together to run, some running and others jogging,” explained team member Berit Bus. “Our first time entering the race was 2019. The group was big and we ran to stay fit but 11 of us decided to take part in the event. The 32nd edition was such a success. The team was inspired by other runners (especially the 60+team) and we kept running until lockdown in April.”
The team’s running order is as follows: Leg 1: Kess Lusia (Junior accountant for Baker Tilly), Leg 2: Stephane Ferron (not in photo--Budget Marine product analyst), Leg 3: Sabrina Carty (Market Researcher), Leg 4: Ludmila Duncan (Member of Parliament, not in photo), Leg 5: Bart van der Meijden (Health professional--not in photo).
Leg 6: Berit Bus (Health professional), Leg 7: Sean Joseph (Policy advisor), Leg 8: Brendan Webster (Health professional), Leg 9: Ardwell Irion (Minister of Finance), Leg 10: Sabrina Baptiste (Statistical Analyst for the Government), and Leg 11: Gyenuar Lopez (owner of AC company, the team’s sponsor).
Meanwhile, by press time 40 teams had entered, more than the two previous years, and there are still a few days to go. The route is the same one for the last three years but in reverse.
To comply with COVID rules, transitions are only for the runners finishing and starting their legs. No spectators, companions, cheer leaders are allowed at the transitions. Masks must be worn by everyone over the age of 13 years when entering the Raoul Illidge Stadium at the finish and start (but not for competitors running out of or into the stadium.
This year’s event has been made possible through the generous support of NAGICO, Alite, CC1, Tri Sport, Philipsburg Pharmacy, Indigo Green, Island Water World, and Green Meds SXM.
“We are extremely happy with the number of teams who have signed up so far, and especially an unprecedented number of youth teams,” said St. Maarten Road Runners President Frits Bus. “It’s been very challenging to organise this year due to COVID-19, especially on the French side, because of the COVID rules. We needed to have licenses, permits and permission on both sides but we got through thanks to the co-operation and positive outlook of the authorities.”
Registration is still open and can be done on line or at both Tri Sport locations (Simpson Bay and Marigot) and all the information needed is on the website www.trisportsxm.com.